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Abstract

When Pope Francis addressed students, teachers, and parents of the Jesuit schools of Italy and Albania in 2013, he discussed the core and the value of a Jesuit-Catholic education, which in essence follows St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises and the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits in all multifarious activities and apostolates put Jesus in the center, thereby making him the prototype. It was Jesus who had trodden a novel way for the Society of Jesus to follow and that meant to live a meaningful life, live well, and live joyfully among the people they were serving. It was Jesus that invited the path was gratuitously provided. Thus, Jesus became the core of the core of a Jesuit education. Education for the Society of Jesus is the formation that brings about and allows room for growth “developing intelligence, but also an integral formation of all the aspects of your personality.” Jesuit education inspires students to seek for more and live enthusiastically. Moreover, St. Ignatius of Loyola left a distinctive gem in Jesuit education: teaching and learning the virtue of magnanimity, which means educating to “have greatness of mind; … great ideals, the wish to do great things to respond to what God asks of us.” The magnanimity of Jesuit education entails a big heart open to Christ and to the human ideals that correspond to the Gospel. Francis concluded his 2013 speech by blessing the audience saying: “The Lord is always close to you, he picks you up when you fall and impels you to develop and to make ever loftier decisions, ‘con grande ánimo y liberalidad,’ with magnanimity. Ad maiorem Dei gloriam.”

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